Friday, January 11, 2013

East Noodle [CLOSED]

One rainy night, Mr. M&P, Mrs. Green M&M, and Mr. H&P Sauce and I found ourselves downtown looking for some place to eat. I was really tired and requested not to be the one to pick a place. We were in the East Village. It shouldn't be too hard for them, right? Right? Our first attempt at Ippudo ramen was shot down with a 1.5 hour wait. We walked around the corner and found ourselves in front of Yuba which I heard good things about. But they didn't want to wait the 30 minutes. So off we went in search of a place that can seat us immediately. Several places I pointed out were shot down. When we grew too tired and too hungry, they pressed me on where to go. Umm yeah, I asked not to pick. And I had already suggested a few places that they said no to. Can't a food blogger get a break sometimes? I grew impatient and just jumped into East Noodle.

We sat down and warmed up from the cold. We looked over the vast menu (mostly with pictures) and picked a few things to share and main dishes for ourselves. As we ordered, the waitress questioned everything. She wasn't familiar with the menu at all. We were even pointing to the exact menu picture of the dishes we wanted and yet she seemed confused. This was very frustrating.

We shared a plate of the Inari ($4) which was vegetable fried rice in tofu skin. The rice was kind of dry without much flavor. The tofu skin was the same I have purchased from the grocery store. This dish didn't do anything for me. I wouldn't order it again.
And order of the Gome Kyuri ($4) led me feeling meh as well. Though the flavor and texture was much more appealing than the previous appetizer, it wasn't a good rendition of the dish. It seemed hastily prepared and the texture of the cucumber was off. It was as if it was already slightly pickled. Another pass.
The last shared appetizer was the East Noodle Buns ($5 for 2) with steamed pork, spicy mayo, and teriyaki sauce. The meat to bun ratio was off but the meat wasn't very good. It was a bit dry and the flavor lacking. I'm used to fatty, juicy, super flavorful pork buns. These were the opposite. The garnishes of iceberg lettuce was equally surprising and disappointing. Lastly, the spicy mayo wasn't spicy nor mayo-like at all. It was loose French dressing and erred on the sweet side. Another do not order.
For my main dish, I had the Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen ($9) with chasu, bamboo shoot, scallion, seaweed, and 1/2 egg. The broth was very salty. I know shoyu ramen broth is saltier but this was uncomfortable. I left a lot of broth in the bowl at the end. The noodles were okay. Not mushy but not the wonderful chewy strands I'm used to either. The chasu was a bit dry and wasn't barbecued enough for my liking. The egg was overcooked with the yolk hardly soft. Overall, another disappointing dish.
I really did not enjoy my meal at East Noodle. The service was subpar with the confused waitress who did not know the menu well. But mostly the food wasn't very good. They skimped on a lot of areas and it just didn't work. I left unhappy and dissatisfied. I will not go back.

East Noodle
119 East 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 982-4285

2 comments:

  1. I had dinner there a few weeks ago. Not impressed by the pork buns either. I decided to try their spicy beef ramen. It was spicy but not very tasty. Sigh. It looks like I won't have to go back for their Tonkotsu either.

    I also saw the staff walking in and out the door of this restaurant to ship over bowls of ramen to Sushi Park, their sister restaurant. Apparently Sushi Park added East Noodle's ramens to their menu. HAHA.

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  2. Oh, that's horrible. I went here years ago when it first opened and found it satisfactory enough that I went back 2-3 more times (because other people I was with were like, oh let's go here, and I'd say it was okay, and they'd want to go; not because I sought it out). It was at least decent back then.

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